Acting US Commerce chief to visit South Africa, Kenya

WASHINGTON Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:29am IST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank will travel to South Africa and Kenya next week to launch an initiative to expand business ties, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.

"Africa is a region of growing opportunity and promise, and it has the potential to be the world's next major economic success story," Blank said in a statement.

"We must do everything possible to ensure we are promoting trade and investment with Africa," she added.

Both U.S. lawmakers and corporate executives have expressed concern the United States is not doing enough to respond to rising competition from China in Africa, which the World Bank says is home to six of the world's 10 fast-growing economies.

President Barack Obama in June laid out a "U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa" partly to address those concerns.

Blank will launch a "Doing Business in Africa" campaign and meet in South Africa with a U.S. trade mission led by Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez, the department said.

In Kenya, she will meet with heads of state and senior trade officials of the East African Community, a regional intergovernmental organization that includes Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi.

The United States has been exploring a trade and investment agreement with the EAC, which U.S. policymakers see as strategic market with good long-term growth potential.

Blank's trip follows visits to Africa by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, White House international economic affairs adviser Michael Froman and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis in recent months.

(Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Reuters Showcase

FMC-SEBI Merger

FMC-SEBI Merger

Regulatory shakeup could revive commodities markets   Full Article 

Market Eye

Market Eye

Sensex, Nifty end higher after bumpy budget-day trading  Full Article 

Tax Incentives

Tax Incentives

Budget woos foreign investors  Full Article 

Excise Duty

Excise Duty

Cigarette makers fall after budget hikes excise duty  Full Article 

Welcoming the Budget

Welcoming the Budget

India Inc cheers corporate tax cut, simpler rules  Full Article 

Gold Price

Gold Price

Gold prices to rise after budget keeps import duty high  Full Article 

Fuel Prices

Fuel Prices

IOC to raise diesel, petrol prices from Sunday  Full Article 

Moody's on Budget

Moody's on Budget

Budget "credit neutral" from a ratings perspective - Moody's   Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage